Sunday, 4 April 2010
Lent's over; a summing up
All over for another year - or is it? At midnight Polish time (23:00 in Derbyshire), I celebrated the end of Lent with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (why can no other wine-producing nation make a Sauvignon Blanc that comes anywhere close to New Zealand's). And then another glass, and then some. Excellent British cheeses. A slight hangover in the morning; 75 sit-ups and 20 press-ups (how long will that go on for?); and time for coffee.
I overdo it. Three heaped scoops into the cafetiere, two large mugs. An hour later, I'm overcome by anxiety, like waiting for a job interview or for an artillery barrage to begin. At lunch (first meat in over 46 days!) I decline a drink. I can see that for me, caffeine more profoundly affects my metabolism than alcohol. I have no adverse effects from giving up drink, while caffeine withdrawal is much harder, I have to wean myself off gradually, doing it suddenly gives me bad headaches. Indeed, as I write, more than six hours after those coffees, I can still feel their effect.
Overdoing the coffee aside, I feel excellent on completing my 19th consecutive Lent. I am stronger, fitter, healthier than when I started in winter. It is now spring, a natural time for continuing exercise. On return to Warsaw I shall get back to cycling to work. Interestingly, despite the daily sit-ups, I failed in my goal to reduce my girth around the middle from 99cm/39 inches to 91.5cm /36 inches. Despite the self-denial and twice-daily working out and all that happened was a reduction to 98cm / 38.5 inches.
At the end of Lent, I'm always full of good intentions - will I be able to keep them going longer than usual?
Easter 2010, for the record. 1 April -> 06:00 Fly Okęcie - Doncaster; train to Stockport. 3 April -> TransPeak bus from Stockport to Duffield. 5 April -> Driven from Duffield to Ealing. 6 April -> Driven from Ealing to Luton; fly to Okęcie.